The city of Harlem plans to turn on the holiday spirit this weekend as they flip the switch on holiday lights and throw a citywide Christmas festival.
Residents are asked to gather on the front lawn of City Hall at 6 p.m. Thursday to light the city tree. The festivities will include Christmas carols performed by members of the Harlem Middle School and North Harlem Elementary School choruses and hot chocolate and other refreshments, said Denise Carter, an event organizer.
"Santa Claus will be there for all the kids to come and visit," Carter said. "They get a chance to tell Santa what they want for Christmas."
Carter said she also has a special surprise planned to get everyone in the holiday spirit.
Children can enjoy a 9 or 10 a.m. breakfast on Saturday with Santa at Bailey's Deli & Grille. Adult tickets cost $6.99. Tickets for children cost $4.99 for the first and a dollar is discounted for each additional child in the family. Call (706) 556-1200 to reserve a seat.
The city's annual Christmas parade which begins at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Carter said the 50 or 60 parade entries, ranging from marching bands and dance troupes to classic cars and animals, will begin at Harlem Middle School. The parade will run along W. Milledgeville Road, up N. Louisville Street and back down W. Forrest Street to the middle school.
Christmas will take over downtown Harlem as the fifth annual Christmas in the Heart of Downtown Harlem from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The holiday festival includes crafters, vendors, a sidewalk sale by downtown businesses and a children's fun area.
For more information, call Carter at (706) 556-0043.
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